How many hours a day do you spend on social media? Internet users around the world spend an average of two and a half hours each day on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
You might feel guilty about your social media use, or as if you should be using that time more proactively. After all, imagine how quickly your English would improve if you studied English for two and a half hours every day!
The good news? You can use social media to learn English and practice with other English learners!
How can social media be used to learn English?
The first step to boosting your English skills with social media is very simple. You just have to change your language settings to English in all your social media apps. That way, you’ll be absorbing English vocabulary every time you open an app!
The next step is to find some communities online of users who use your favorite social media channels to learn English. ELSA has curated some online spaces for learners to improve their grammar, learn new vocabulary, and connect with other people who are learning English.
So, if you’re interested in learning English with social media, here are the ELSA English learning communities:
1. ELSA Speak Discord
The ELSA Speak Discord community is an online learning space for ELSA users. You’ll find other English students sharing their learning journeys. There are club channels for users who are preparing for English tests like IELTS and TOEFL, as well as forums for finding a speaking partner, sharing your achievements, chatting to other learners, and participating in language challenges.
You’ll be able to connect with other learners to have conversations in English, to collaborate on projects, to ask for help, as well as offer support. There are also online events such as IELTS mock tests, quizzes, and crossword puzzles. You’ll meet English learners from all over the world!
Facebook is the world’s biggest social media platform, with over 2.91 billion active users around the world. There are a lot of Facebook groups for learning English, with members from across the globe, as well as different English educators that you can follow and learn from.
Make sure to follow the ELSA Speak Facebook page. You’ll find lots of useful content to support your English learning journey. There are links to the ELSA blog, with its varied topics, as well as videos from teacher Billie English to help you with your pronunciation, and fun English facts and challenges.
It’s too easy to open TikTok and become absorbed watching fun videos. Then, before you know it, an hour has passed! So, why not follow some English learning accounts to make the most of the time you’re spending on the app? TikTok videos are a great learning tool as they allow you to practice listening, reading (the subtitles), and writing (if you leave a comment on the video).
The ELSA Speak TikTok shares videos to help you boost your vocabulary and work on your pronunciation. You’ll learn new expressions, phrasal verbs, and idioms that will enrich your knowledge of English and improve your speaking abilities. There are lots of short videos from English language influencer Jay, who shares English speaking advice and grammar tips!
Expand the accounts you follow on Instagram to include some English learning accounts. That way, in between photographs of houseplants and reels of cute puppies, you’ll find yourself learning bits and pieces of English!
You can also use English hashtags to find posts and accounts related to your interests. For example, if you love cooking, search #foodie or #cooking on Instagram to find interesting recipes, food photographs and posts from chefs, in English. You can also practice your writing by sharing your own photographs with captions written in English. You might even get useful feedback from other Instagram users.
Follow the ELSA Speak Instagram account for English idioms, fun language facts, and lots of advice on learning English with ELSA Speak! You’ll be able to take part in quizzes and compete against other learners in the comments.
If you enjoy spending time on YouTube, then you’ll be pleased to learn that YouTube is a great tool for learning English, as it has a lot of English language content. There are lots of channels offering English lessons, grammar tips, and pronunciation advice.
To make the most of learning English through YouTube, it’s important to be an active viewer. Use subtitles to support your understanding and boost your reading skills. Take notes on the new vocabulary, grammar rules, and pronunciation tips you learn from the videos. Practice listening by seeking out different accents and topics to improve your comprehension skills. Engage with the English learning content you find, by leaving comments, asking questions, and taking part in discussions. This will help you to improve your writing skills.
And, don’t forget to subscribe to the ELSA Speak channel for useful videos on how to use the ELSA Speak app. You can also check out Simon’s Practice Group for original content produced by ELSA Community members.
If you’re learning English for work, then LinkedIn is a great source of business English. You can connect with English-speaking professionals in your industry to practice reading and writing in English.
You’ll be able to find lots of interesting industry articles which are written in English and relate to your professional interests. These will not only improve your reading comprehension, but also boost your business English vocabulary.
It’s also a good idea to join English-speaking groups that focus on your topic of interest or your professional field. You’ll be able to share posts, engage in debates, and participate in conversations with other industry professionals.
Follow ELSA on LinkedIn for English learning tips and links to the ELSA blog.
How much English can you learn in 280 characters? Well, you might be surprised!
Fill up your feed with English-speaking accounts, so that you’re seeing a lot of content which is written in English. This will help you to get used to reading in English. Like Instagram, it’s a good idea to follow English hashtags that connect to your interests – that way you’ll be more likely to come across conversations that you’re keen to participate in.
Follow ELSA Speak on Twitter for language discussions and English tips and tricks.
Twitter is a fantastic tool for practicing writing in English. It will force you to think carefully about how you express yourself in English, as you’ll need to write clear, concise tweets – after all, you’ll only have 280 characters to express yourself!
Subscribe to the ELSA blog
For more useful articles about learning English, check out our blog, where you’ll find posts about learning English, choosing an English exam, new English vocabulary, and fun quizzes. See you there!